[photo credit: iwitness2u.com]
They are there….with majority in waves of orange uniforms, some in green, and still, others who are more dangerous clad in red. Housed in different cells, different units. Imprisoned for the crimes they had committed: robbery, rape, murder, battery and other things. Even inside, they still try to rule. Some, hungry for power, intimidate the new comers and try to manipulate them to do things for their purpose. It is sickening. It seems never ending.
Only for me to step out of those prison walls, into a bigger prison. We are no different than those incarcerated inmates imprisoned with our sins. Some in deeper traps: bondages.
But 2,000 years ago, out of love, Jesus yelled before dying: “It is finished”….
Sin is a no-laughing matter. Sins should grieve our souls because of what Jesus did. Out of His love for us. This is the reason why Jesus came and became the ultimate sacrifice for humanity’s sins. He took all of our baggage. And put it on His own. He became the payment for the penalty we deserved. It is God’s plan, long ago. In order for us to be saved from going into hell.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will crush your head, and you will strike your heel.” - Genesis 3:15...
It is finished…on Jesus’ part. He fulfilled His work, His mission to save humanity from sins. He never gave up. He never quit the race He was in. Instead of people being drawn to the prince of this world, people would be drawn to Jesus as Lord of their lives. Jesus took away the sins of the world. He made life available to the full. And upon His death, Jesus became the ladder between heaven and earth.
John 1:51 - “The truth is, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down upon the Son of Man.” [NIV]
It is finished…It was not a cry of defeat but of victory instead…And through Jesus’ victory, we became victorious as well.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” -John 15:13
But it is not finished…on our part. We are all running a race in this life’s journey. Because of our faith in Jesus, we will also face many obstacles. We will experience different degrees of hardships. Will we be able to say “it is finished!” at the end? Will we be able to say what Paul said?:
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me - the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to His glorious return.” - 2 Timothy 4:7-8
In this world full of many prisons, housing many hurting sinners who haven’t come to realize what Jesus did on the cross, we, believers, are running that race to share His cries of victory among those lost and still living defeated lives: “It is finished!”
Love is the essence of God’s law. Love was displayed on the cross. Love claimed victory. Now that the debt had been paid, we, followers of Christ, are under obligation not to fall into the same trap of sins and to share His love.
“8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” - Romans 13:8
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT Bible ]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].